It’s that time of year, when one of your kiddos comes to you and says, “Id like to watch a scary movie.” Or, if they are anything like me, they’d just stay up until 2AM to watch The Exorcist without you. So here’s a little list of movies I have curated to help appease their interest without giving them too many nightmares. Remember, these are just my opinions. Go with your gut and gauge if your kids are ready for these, or not. Also, pay attention to the MPAA labels too. Here are my picks.
Disney’s The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
Not a overly scary movie from Disney. I believe there are far worse iterations of the story of the Headless Horseman out there, but this one, in my opinion, still delivers a little bit of that fright factor that won’t scar your kids. Might be because the Disney animation softens the blow a little. Plus the cliffhanger ending adds a little extra depth to the story, from what I recall. I give this movie a viewer age of +6 years, maybe +7.
A kid being turned into a mouse is not super frightening premise, but when you pair it off with some excellent make-up effects and some rather mature themes, you get a horror movie that could easily satisfy your child’s curiosity. Based on a Roald Dahl book, The Witches was one of those scary movies I stumbled upon as a kid, and never forgot. I give this one a viewing age of +8.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Stop motion animation at its finest! Musical numbers that stick with you. A great message and a wonderful story make this a top gateway film into the realm of scary movies, without being too scary. Plus, it’s a double season feature that can be both enjoyed at Christmas and Halloween! My viewing age for this flick, +6. Maybe sooner if you think your little one can handle it.